When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in a 5-4 ruling, the LGBT community cheered in celebration. As part of that celebration and in recognition of National Pride Month, the LGBT community in Lafayette, Louisiana gathered on June 30 at Girard public park and raised the Rainbow Flag.
But now one Republican city councilman is drafting a city ordinance to ban the flying of the internationally famous LGBT symbol on all public grounds.
According to The Daily Advertiser, Councilman Andy Naquin immediately went to work on a draft after Korean War veteran Ray Green complained about the flag being flown on public property after seeing a photograph of the event.
“I did not go overseas and fight for our country so that we could come back and be subject to something like that,” Green told the Advertiser when asked to comment. “Several of us (veterans) feel that the flying of this flag is a poke in the eye of a way of life.”
That’s funny, I always thought soldiers fought to secure freedom and rights for Americans, not for heterosexual marriage. Even though Green claims he has nothing “against the gays,” from his comment it seems like the “way of life” he’s talking about is what conservatives call “traditional marriage.”
Amanda Kelley is the president of Acadiana OUTspoken Alliance, a LGBT group. In response to Green and Naquin, Kelley said the hoisting of the Rainbow flag “wasn’t intended to insult or hurt anyone,” and pointed out that gays and lesbians have fought and died for America as well. Indeed, homosexuals have been fighting and dying in American wars since the Revolutionary War. That doesn’t seem to matter to Green, who claims that if the LGBT community can raise their flag, other groups could raise the Confederate flag or a flag of the Ku Klux Klan. I’d like to say he has a point, but there’s a STRONG difference between the Rainbow flag, which is a symbol of equality and love, and the Confederate and KKK flags, which represents slavery, discrimination, hate, and racism. The American flag represents freedom, liberty, and equality and therefore has far more in common with the LGBT flag. There is no reason why both can’t fly together.
Green and Naquin say they are concerned that the LGBT community could possibly fly their flag above the American flag, or could take the American flag down entirely and fly their flag solo in its place. But the Advertiser, who covered the event, says at no point did the LGBT community fly their flag above the stars and stripes, nor did they remove it. Doing such a thing would violate the flag code which places the American flag above all others on public grounds. As long as LGBT groups do not fly their flag above the American flag, there shouldn’t be a problem and they should be left alone.
The fact is, the LGBT community did nothing wrong or disrespectful and this appears to be the first time anyone has complained about the flying of the Rainbow flag at LGBT celebrations on public property. It really seems that Republicans are only jumping at this opportunity to satisfy their need to get revenge after losing a Supreme Court case they expected to win, and they are using the complaint of a military veteran as an excuse to advance their discriminatory agenda.